England

Work starts on Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley rail electrification

London Midland train
Image caption The electrification project in the area is set to be completed in late 2017

Work is starting on a £30m project to electrify 15 miles of railway in the West Midlands.

The Broad Lane bridge at Bloxwich North station, one of three bridges to be rebuilt in the project, is being demolished.

The bridges have to be reconstructed to accommodate equipment needed to run electric trains.

Work on the line between Walsall and Rugeley Trent Valley, should be finished in late 2017.

Boost capacity

The other two bridges are in Walsall and Hednesford.

Network Rail has said electrification helps it reduce carbon emissions and cut the cost of running the railway.

Electric trains "are also quieter, more reliable" and have more seats, it said.

Rail services will not be affected until spring 2014 when the line will be closed for short periods on Sunday mornings to allow construction work to be completed.

Rail replacement services will run during these periods.

Some roads will also be closed during bridge rebuilding work.

Walsall North Labour MP David Winnick and Conservative MP for Cannock Chase Aidan Burley officially started the bridge demolition at a ceremony in Bloxwich earlier.

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